Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Fixay 4 life!

Old 01-09-19, 04:06 PM
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Fixay 4 life!

Yikes, glad I didn't get "FXD 4 LIF" tattooed on my neck like I planned.

I sometimes do part of my ride through the local university campus, and saw nothing but derailleurs and brake levers. Just a casual count only turned up 6 "fixed" bikes in a sea of them. I was actually a little shocked at how fast the campus bike de jour went to crappy MTB (in basic look only), as a FG/SS seems way more practical for getting to class on. I am going to miss the fad, it was one of the cooler ones!

Fine by me, now I bet I can pick up a cool Keirin frameset for a reasonable price now.
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Old 01-09-19, 07:21 PM
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I live near the University of Wisconsin. From what I can tell, the campus bike du jour is whatever's cheap and barely functional. Students bring their "nice" bike, and it gets trashed, or they get a klunker from Target. The attention attracted by fixies was and is greatly in disproportion to their actual use. But look closer. Most of those derailleur bikes are left in one gear, and probably have barely functioning derailleurs and brakes due to rust and neglect.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:09 PM
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there's tons of old, fully rigid steel MTB's to be had for the same price as a klunker from Target. Such a better buy.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:12 PM
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$100 in San Diego

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Old 01-11-19, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
$100 in San Diego

Total deal.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:21 PM
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Several times last summer I joined a huge group ride that takes place every week in Salt Lake City. Most of the participants are in the 18-30 year old middle class demographic, and I believe many are students at the University of Utah. There's high female participation, close to 50%. The emphasis is not on serious riding or on the bikes themselves--it's more like a big party on wheels, with lots of alcohol being consumed and various substances being smoked.

When I say this ride is huge, I mean we sometimes had upwards of 400 riders.

A casual observation revealed that these folks ride a tremendously diverse collection of bikes. Vintage 2x10 road bikes, coaster brake beach cruisers, crappy department store mountain bikes, fat tire e-bikes, and many other types are represented in plentiful numbers. There are also quite a few single speed and fixed gear... I'd say perhaps as high as 10 or 15%. There's a few really nice track bikes, but not many. Ditto high-end city/commuter/touring bikes. And even fewer modern carbon fiber road (race) bikes.

I don't know how the fixie culture looked around here 3, 5, or 10 years ago. Currently it appears to be extant--if not particularly strong--based on what I saw in that group.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:49 PM
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Even though I don’t drink... that sounds FUN!!!
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Old 01-11-19, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mouse View Post
Even though I don’t drink... that sounds FUN!!!
I don't drink either, and don't take drugs, which puts me in a small minority with this group. The ride is a lot of fun in some ways and in others it's the stupidest thing I've ever been involved in. Stupid as in dangerous, foolish, irresponsible. Quite the spectacle though.
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Old 01-11-19, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
A casual observation revealed that these folks ride a tremendously diverse collection of bikes. Vintage 2x10 road bikes, coaster brake beach cruisers, crappy department store mountain bikes, fat tire e-bikes, and many other types are represented in plentiful numbers. There are also quite a few single speed and fixed gear... I'd say perhaps as high as 10 or 15%. There's a few really nice track bikes, but not many. Ditto high-end city/commuter/touring bikes. And even fewer modern carbon fiber road (race) bikes.

I don't know how the fixie culture looked around here 3, 5, or 10 years ago. Currently it appears to be extant--if not particularly strong--based on what I saw in that group.
Savannah, ga, has a pretty strong ridership in this age range, as SCAD has completely transformed the city. Other than the exceptionally wealthy Chinese international students who mostly drive various imported luxury/super cars, most students ride bicycles. as a board member for the city’s bike/walk advocacy group, I’ve seen an amazing array of bicycles and female ridership is at least equal to male, if not higher, city wide. As far as fixed gear is concerned, there are a lot of cheap fixed gear bikes, such as ‘purefix’ and Other cheap bikes with those ridiculously deep anodised rims, but if you pay close attention, most people have them set up as a ss. I’ve not seen a single, proper classic track bike anywhere. the three bikes that reign king here are the cheap ‘fixie’ (most ss), the beach cruiser (we are a coastal town) and the ‘classic-ish’ european type city bike, usually with a shimano Alfine IGH, such as those by Linus bikes and Pure Cycles city bikes. The step through models being the most popular for men and women. I don’t find european style city bikes being the most popular all that surprising though, being an art school town. There are some classic road bikes around. Some of them converted to fixed or ss, some of them original and there are some modern track inspired fixed gears, such as aventon and Fuji and some other more ‘serious’ bikes. There are of course the typical modern hybrids as well. All in all though, you see a lot of ‘fixie’ style bikes, but very few are actually fixed, so I would say there isn’t much fixed gear culture here.

Electric bikes are popping up more and more though. I’m seeing more of them all the time. We have two bike share programs here as well, so there’s always a plethora of those, and one of the programs uses electric assist bikes. We also have an electric bike rental shop, so a lot of people are really taking to them.

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Old 01-11-19, 11:56 PM
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I saw a guy riding a fg just today on my way home from work.
So, that makes at least 2 in our town (there may be more but I've never seen them).
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Old 01-12-19, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I saw a guy riding a fg just today on my way home from work.
So, that makes at least 2 in our town (there may be more but I've never seen them).
Dang man! You must be in a rather small town? Then again where I’ve lived in Wa. and Az. have both had a decent fg community. Stop him and say hi if ya get the chance, you’ll probly have more than just fg in common!
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Old 01-12-19, 07:43 PM
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As predicted a good while ago the Fixie-Fad has faded away while the devotees of truly obsolete hardware and Old School club cyclists continue as they have for well over a century to ride FG on the open public roads.

As far as adopting a "fixed gear for life" ethos it was just part of what one did as a cyclist long before my 1st road FG winter base miles 51 seasons ago, although tattoos have never been required a supple high cadence pedaling style w/ big grunt on demand is.

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Old 01-12-19, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
As predicted a good while ago the Fixie-Fad has faded away while the devotees of truly obsolete hardware and Old School club cyclists continue as they have for well over a century to ride FG on the open public roads.

As far as adopting a "fixed gear for life" ethos it was just part of what one did as a cyclist long before my 1st road FG winter base miles 51 seasons ago, although tattoos have never been required a supple high cadence pedaling style w/ big grunt on demand is.

-Bandera
Obsolete? Come on are we just some old geezers here? My new cranks are using Hollowtech II spindle which Shimano still uses on a lot of their stuff. The bottom bracket is hybrid ceramic and it has a suspension seatpost that weighs a little more than a Thomson Elite care of Cane Creek's eeSilk and brakes from the same. This is a totally modern machine in all forms. Sure it may not be electronically shifted but obsolete is unfair. It is not like I am running skip tooth Chatter Lea cottered cranks and spoon brakes here! (though I would love a Chatter Lea or similar vintage styled fixed gear like that with wooden rims because why not)

No tattoos for sure but if you are going to get one, the forehead is the best place : )
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Old 01-13-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Obsolete? Come on are we just some old geezers here?
Hey, if you're not an old geezer already you will be one eventually. Or die trying, right?
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Old 01-13-19, 02:50 PM
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@JohnDThompson: Back in my day...

I will probably be one eventually unless I do die trying but I have made it this far and gave up on my plans to go out in the blaze of glory at 25 or whatever so I guess geezerdom it is. I will have to tie an onion to my pants as it was the style of the day.

Get off my small patch of grass that is sort of shared by the neighbors.
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Old 01-13-19, 04:10 PM
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I swear if one more Frisbee lands in my yard I'm gonna start a Frisbee store! Damn kids
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Old 01-13-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mouse View Post
I swear if one more Frisbee lands in my yard I'm gonna start a Frisbee store! Damn kids
Back in my day the only flying discs we had to play with was old saw blades from the mill. Cut your hands up fierce if you didn't catch it right but by-cracky we liked it.
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Old 01-13-19, 06:54 PM
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Get off my lawn.

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Old 01-13-19, 07:16 PM
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Old 01-13-19, 08:00 PM
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Old 01-13-19, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Back in my day the only flying discs we had to play with was old saw blades from the mill. Cut your hands up fierce if you didn't catch it right but by-cracky we liked it.
Reminds me of my younger brother and I having “dirt clod” wars or pinecone fights as kids. One of us would usually end up hurt. I remember I shot my unsuspecting brother in the ass with one of those compact dry mud hunks using a newly purchased sling shot from the ice cream man. Needless to say I got an ass whoopin from dad and never saw that sling shot again 😂

to this day im surprised we still have our eyes, fingers, and toes

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Old 01-13-19, 08:50 PM
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@mouse:

I remember tying one of those red wagons to the back of my bike and I had to be the first one to ride in it. I chipped a tooth and the face got a bit scraped up needless to say before the thing tumbled I had about 5 seconds of fun. People were able to hurt themselves more and guess what everyone turned out just fine. Now all these kids are going to turn out to be unprepared for real life and probably end up seriously hurt and no knowledge of what to do or how to handle it.
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Old 01-13-19, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
@mouse:

I remember tying one of those red wagons to the back of my bike and I had to be the first one to ride in it. I chipped a tooth and the face got a bit scraped up needless to say before the thing tumbled I had about 5 seconds of fun. People were able to hurt themselves more and guess what everyone turned out just fine. Now all these kids are going to turn out to be unprepared for real life and probably end up seriously hurt and no knowledge of what to do or how to handle it.
truth brotha... I have a 10 year old sister, and being raised by my pops, she’s tough as nails... but I see her friends and fear they’re doomed.
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Old 01-16-19, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
As predicted a good while ago the Fixie-Fad has faded away while the devotees of truly obsolete hardware and Old School club cyclists continue as they have for well over a century to ride FG on the open public roads.
Yes, obsolete hardware! Many years ago, the bicycle was the primary means of transport for the working man. Now, at least in the affluent west, it is no more than an over designed, overpriced throwback: a rich man's plaything. Oh, the irony of using aluminium, titanium, and carbon fibre, at enormous cost to the environment, to make something that is then justified as "green" — then riding it on specially made tracks on journeys that go nowhere but in a big loop because we want to make ourselves tired after a hard week at work. wink icon to show I am not being serious.

Riding fixed is fun. Riding a geared bike is a different sort of fun. Riding single speed combines some of the pros and cons of each, but is also a different kind of fun.

I don't really understand how riding fixed has somehow become a "for life" thing, especially among the type of people who tend to follow the latest fashion and move on when the trend changes. You don't hear people saying, "Badminton for life" or "Angling for life." However, you do occasionally hear people shout, "Run for your life!" which is a different thing, I suppose.

With most sports and hobbies, the norm is to enjoy it and, in some cases look back and realise that it has been a big part of your whole life. Committing to it "for life" up front when you're young, and getting a tattoo to prove it, seems strange to me. But then, maybe I'm just spouting off because I'm an old geyser.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:17 PM
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Fixed trend is still going strong here in California.

There still exist two shops dedicated to fixed gear/single speed riding.

I see them around quite often.

What has changed though, is that when you see a sick one (all nice and built up) it looks like it's ridden by a person who rides fixed as part of their lifestyle.

The bikes are heavily aftermarket and worn/well used.

They are also modified for a particular purpose (some have racks, some are just for training/ridin fast, some are just for fun rides) which tells me that the owner uses it for that one thing.

The only other single speed bikes you see are the really cheap $200 ones that are thankfully converted to single speed most of the time.

(I consider a very cheap fixed gear bike an actual safety hazard as I have snapped cogs before).

The really cheap single speeds seem to be used by people that just commute very short distances or use them to get to/from work or something.

I think that's way more practical than a geared bike personally.


I rarely see bikes like mine (single speed cross or mid range commuter bike).

Although mine is built and used primarily as a work bike, and I use single speed for it's low maintenence/simplicity, it has some upgrades that make it stand out a bit.

To an astute observer it should at least say "enthusiast" if anything.
Most would not notice the upgrades, some would just see it as something that makes me work more efficiently (which it does).

SS is all I've ever known and it feels very natural to me. I never did it to be cool, I just literally do not know how to properly ride or maintain a geared bike and at the moment have no interest in doing so.
I like the simple feeling of just hopping on something that you can smash on and go forward with.


The fact that you only see people that use them because they are cheaper than geared bikes, and people that use them because they are very much into fixed riding tells me that the scene has indeed lost steam.

There are not as many enthusiasts or people that have random bikes or mid rangers.


This is in stark contrast to back in the day when you would see ALL SORTS of fixed/single speed bikes everywhere.

Many/most were very new and in pristine condition meaning the owner bought the trendiest most expensive **** and just never rode it often (but had like the perfect bike that fit/rode so well and they didn't even know why), or they did ride them seriously but just took really care of them (Pros).

You would see LOT'S of weird NJS/keirin bikes and imported bikes. There were only a handful of street single speed companies, and most bikes/parts were indeed from the track or from companies that built them to be used on a track.

Lot's of 1" threaded headtubes on some mysterious japanese frame, lot's of EAI, etc.

That part of fixed seems to have COMPLETELY evaporated. If any part of single speed riding was a trend, I believe it was the vintage/njs/keirin thing. I was never into it as I came from the bmx world and I was all about local companies making custom affordable frames.

The mid ranges you would see were from newly sprouted companies or road companies that decided to build a legit cool fixed frame (I owned one).

Tons of those were around and going strong.


Millennials have gotten old. They seem to have switched to cross bikes (excuse to have a freewheel and not admitting that you're doing it because you are old), or they have just become full blown roadies.

Some have succumbed to the dad and have gotten weird purpose built commuter bikes.


Cycling has dropped off a little.

That's fine by me as I have ridden alone through most of my life anyways.

I think i've been to one group ride, seen one race, etc.

Judging from some of the videos I see and how the products are marketed, it seems that people just seem to see them and think that it's cool and edgy.
That alone seems to keep the mid range thing going and there will always be a 20 something that wants that for a little while.
I like sick colorways too! lol.


I could get a fixed and it would be (for me personally) even more practical than what I have now.
I love the "oneness" and zen of riding fixed...
Honestly the only thing stopping me from doing it is the interference of other people in my life.
That, and the fact that I want to dick around sometimes and I hate doing that on a fixed.
Ridnig fixed means just riding to me man, and it's an awesome way to do it.
I personally feel like there is nothing like it and it's an amazing way to ride a bicycle.

For me It will always just be my lonely adventure.
Painfully isolated, but free to roam.

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